Employees: How to Manage Job Stress and Build Resilience during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Whether you're going to work or doing it from home, the COVID-19 pandemic has likely changed the way you work.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Fear and anxiety as well as other strong emotions caused by this new illness can be overwhelming, and stress in the workplace can lead to mental exhaustion. How you cope with these emotions and stress can affect your well-being, the well-being of your loved ones, the people at work, and your community. During this pandemic, it is critical that you know how to recognize the signs of stress, take steps to build resilience and manage work stress, and know where to turn if you need help.

Recognize what symptoms of stress you may be experiencing.

  • Feeling irritation, anger, or adopting an attitude of denial
  • Feeling uncertain, nervous or anxious
  • Lack of motivation
  • Feeling tired, overwhelmed, or mentally exhausted
  • Feeling sad or depressed
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Having trouble concentrating

Learn the most common work-related factors that can contribute to stress during a pandemic:

  • Concern about the risk of exposure to the virus at work
  • Address personal and family needs while working
  • Manage changes in your workload
  • Lack of access to the tools and equipment necessary to carry out their work
  • The feeling of not contributing enough to your job or guilt for not being a worker in the first line of defense
  • Uncertainty about the future in their work and/or employment
  • Having to learn to use new communication tools and overcome technical difficulties
  • Adapt to another space and / or work schedule

Follow these tips to build resilience and cope with work stress.

  • Communicate with your colleagues, supervisors, and employees about stress, without neglecting social distancing in between the standing desk (at least 6 feet).
  • Identify which things are causing you stress and work together to find solutions.
  • Hold frank discussions with employers, employees, and unions about how the pandemic is affecting work. Everyone should clearly communicate their expectations.
  • See how you can access mental health resources at your workplace.
  • Identify the things you have no control over and do the best you can with the resources at your disposal.
  • Whenever possible, maintain a consistent daily routine, ideally similar to your pre-pandemic routine, to improve your sense of control.
  • Keep a regular schedule to the best external site icon.
  • Take breaks at work to exercise, stretch, or chat with colleagues, coworkers, family, and friends as a support network.
  • Spend time outdoors, whether it’s working out or relaxing.
  • If you work from home, schedule a time to end your workday whenever possible.
  • Use mindfulness techniques.
  • Outside of work hours, do things you enjoy.
  • Learn the facts about COVID-19 and how to protect yourself and others. Understanding the risks and sharing accurate information with the important people in your life can reduce stress and help you connect with others.
  • Remember that we all have a fundamental role in fighting this pandemic.
  • Remember that all people are in an unusual situation and have limited resources.
  • Take breaks and stop watching, reading, or listening to the news. This includes social media. Hearing about the pandemic all the time can be unpleasant and mentally draining
  • Connect with others. Talk to people you trust about your concerns, how you feel, or how the COVID-19 pandemic affects you.
  • Connect with other people through calls, emails, text messages, letters, or postcards by correspondence, video calls, or social networks.
  • See how other people are. Helping others improves their sense of control, belonging, and self-esteem. Find safe ways to offer social support to others, especially if they show signs of stress, such as depression and anxiety.
  • If you feel that you may be using too much alcohol or other drugs (including prescription drugs) as a means of coping with stress, ask for help.
  • If you are being treated for a mental health condition, continue your treatment, and watch for any new symptoms or symptoms that are worsening.
    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...


    How to Reduce Stress for Healthcare Workers During COVID19

    by Nathan Bradshaw

    Check Out Your COVID-19 Coping Style

    by Bryan Robinson, Ph.D.
    Photo by Sydney Rae on Unsplash

    How to Prepare for Rising Stress Ahead

    by Michael and Katie Stallard

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.